China blocks India’s bid for UN to blacklist Masood Azhar


New Delhi

China has blocked India’s request to add the head of the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) to a UN Security Council blacklist of groups linked to al Qaeda.
India has accused JeM and its top leader, Maulana Masood Azhar, of masterminding several attacks, including a deadly assault on an Indian air base in January.
Security officials interrogated Azhar and his associates after the attack, and said they found no evidence linking him to it.
JeM has already been blacklisted by the 15-nation Security Council, but not Azhar, a hardliner. India’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said on Friday that India had requested that Azhar be added to the list nine months ago and had received strong backing from all other members of the council.
But China, which put a hold on the move in April, had now blocked it, he said.
India has long accused Pakistan of using JeM as a proxy to mount attacks on Indian soil, including in the Indian-occupied Kashmir, and earlier gave what it called “actionable intelligence” to Islamabad, including telephone intercepts.

Pakistan denies giving any aid to Kashmir-based militants. If Azhar was blacklisted by the UN Security Council, he would face a global travel ban and asset freeze.— Reuters

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